Importing goods on any scale can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to figuring out what type of bond to secure for a shipment. There are many variables to consider. Let’s navigate the world of continuous bond versus single entry bond confusion and decide which fits your product or industry best.
Trying to figure out what type of bond is best for a shipment can be confusing, especially if you don’t understand how a continuous bond versus single entry bond works. Licensed customs brokers assist in securing the right bond to cover your shipment and can explain the differences.
Is this your first time dealing with bonds? Are you importing goods and now ready to upgrade from a single entry to a continuous bond? Where should you start in order to figure out what you’ll need and how it all works?
It’s important to understand the intent of a bond, how it works and the various types. A bond in basic terms is an insurance policy the importer provides to ensure that the customs fees and other taxes are paid. All commercial goods entering the country valued at over $2,500 must have a U.S. Customs Bond.
Can an importer decide not to have U.S. Customs Bonds?
- No. It is not optional to secure U.S. Customs Bonds when importing goods. A U.S. customs bond is required.
Who needs a bond?
- Importers, International carriers, warehouse operators, and secure area operators must all obtain an import bond.
What are the required documents to obtain a U.S. Customs Bond?
- Documents to obtain a customs bonds include a commercial invoice, a packing list, a bill of lading, and an arrival notice from the U.S. agent.
A Continuous Bond is as its name suggests, a bond which covers shipments on a continuous or ongoing basis. An importer using an international carrier to transport products can secure a continuous bond that allows shipments to arrive through any US port for a year. As for importers and shippers, a continuous import bond is highly effective since it allows for a large quantity of entries to different entry ports during the course of a year. Imported items of high value are covered by this bond type.
A Single Entry Bond means just that; a one-time entry of a shipment through a designated US port. This bond type is a good fit for importers with occasional shipments, usually less than four times a year. A single entry bond is sufficient for importers of goods with a low-cost value.
If you are set to import shipments of lawn equipment ahead of the busy spring gardening season then likely a continuous bond would be your best option. This way the numerous shipments are covered under the same bond, thus saving money in the long run. Similarly, seasonal merchandise being imported will fall in this category of multiple shipments to various points of entry.
In contrast, a small boutique may schedule to receive a couple of boxes of handbags. While it depends on the commercial value of the handbags, if that figure is $2,500 or less then the importer can use a single entry bond. However, if the value exceeds $2,500 the handbags will need to be covered under a continuous bond. In addition, as seasonal shipments of imported handbags arrive, a continuous import bond will cover the importer for the year.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection provides a few useful tips for those who are new to importing or exporting goods. The CBP suggests being familiar with customs clearance policies and other requirements specific to the commodity you plan to import.
In 2016 the CBP reports the agency processed $2.28 trillion in imports representing 32.6 million entries into the U.S. via in excess of 27 million cargo containers.
A customs broker works with you to ensure the bond on file is correct and the shipment clears U.S. customs without incident. Basically, licensed customs brokers work on your behalf to handle all the behind the scene work related to a bond. CUstoms bond agents handle everything from importing coffee to importing fireworks.
It’s important to know that licensed customs brokers will not issue an import bond without having power of attorney. By having power of attorney the broker is able to file all necessary documents on behalf of the importer.
It’s a seamless process to obtain a customs bond . Give us a call at 855-912-0406 or use the online chat to learn more about the custom bond types. We can determine if a continuous bond or a single entry bond will fit your needs.